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Product standards

Working with standards for us a manufacturer means that we first have to ask ourselves what is the market the product is intended for and where is it located.

Rope rescue, rope access, tree work, tower climbing etc. are all work related activities that have a set of standards applied to them.

Depending where you are it varies what certification is allowed.

In Canada all these different industries have their own set of rules and these can vary for each province making it hard to follow what is applicable.

In general, if we say Canada CSA comes to mind.

If it is the USA we’ll be talking about ANSI and fire related activities NFPA.

In Europe it is the well-known CE mark that is a must and as the CE mark is well respected around the world most countries have adopted this as an acceptable certification system for PPE (personal protective equipment).

If you are doing something recreationally your product most likely is CE approved and some items will also bare the UIAA mark. https://theuiaa.org/

A product stamped with the CE mark indicates that it has passed testing requirements, meets other set requirements such as the content for the manual and the manufacturing processes meet European Union laws.

The CE mark is accompanied by a number (for example CE 0639) that identifies the Notified Body (testing facility).

The standards that products need to be tested to are identified by “EN”; for example, EN 795 covers items such as slings, anchors and tripods.

In Europe, all PPE products in defined categories must receive CE certification before they can be sold.

CE standards are based on the pre-existing UIAA norms that climbing equipment manufacturers referred to before CE testing was implemented.

Today, the UIAA norms still exist and often lay out additional (though voluntary) requirements for certain products.

However it is important to check the validity of the products certification and to do so you can check the declaration of conformity on the manufacturers website, or you can check the Notified Bodies number on the following website: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/single-market-compliance-space/#/notified-bodies/free-search

Test reports cannot be shared with the public as the content is protected under copyright laws but instead check the marking on the products and check the declaration.

Keep in mind that for some jurisdictions it isn’t needed to be a certified product but instead a test or engineering report showing the minimum breaking strength will do.

If your not clear about a product talk to your local provider or manufacturer.

Below you find an overview we created to help out for some countries we deal with what product certification is important. This is for work related PPE.

Note: At the time of writing these CourseNotes in the USA, a ANSI standard for rope access components is being developed under the ANSI Z459.

  AnchorsHelmetsHarnessesLanyardsEnergy Absorbing Lanyards
EuropeCEEN 795EN 397 | EN 12492 | EN 14052EN 361 | EN 358 | EN 813EN 354EN355
CanadaCSAZ259.13 | Z259.15Z94.1Z259.10Z259.11Z259.11
  CarabinersSRLFall Arresters + Cable/RailWork Pos. LanyardsHorizontal Lifeline
EuropeCEEN 362EN 360EN 353EN 358 | EN 12841EN 795
CanadaCSAZ259.12Z259.2.2Z259.2.1 | Z259.2.5Z259.11Z259.13
  Back-up DevicesDecendersAscendersPulleysRopes
EuropeCEEN 353-2 | EN 12841EN 341 | EN 12841EN 567 | EN 12841EN 12278EN 1891 or EN 892
USAANSIZ359.15Z359.4 | Z259.9  Z359.15